While you can skip food and water for days without lasting damage, you can only go a matter of moments without breathing before you risk suffering serious consequences. Breathing issues have the potential to create health complications besides simply making life more difficult. 

There are plenty of reasons why breathing might be hard. Virtually everyone has a respiratory infection like a cold or flu periodically, causing nasal and sinus congestion that interferes with breathing. These effects pass in a week or two. 

People with allergies suffer similar effects when exposed to certain substances, creating a potentially more frequent issue, and others with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may suffer even more. 

When you experience breathing problems frequently, or they interfere with your daily routine for longer than the duration of an average cold, contact Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center for an evaluation with one of their specialists. With five locations, there’s an office accessible to you throughout the metro Detroit region. 


When viral infections like cold and flu create annoying congestion, it’s some consolation that it’s only temporary. There’s no treatment for these infections once they begin, though you can reduce your chances of contracting flu by obtaining vaccines annually. Otherwise, your best bet is rest, fluids, and over-the-counter medications for your symptoms. 

Sometimes, these respiratory infections start a cycle for some patients. Sinusitis can linger, or become chronic, when your sinuses don’t drain effectively. This can be due to the structure of your nasal passages and sinuses. 

In extreme cases, surgical procedures called sinuplasty may be necessary to widen your airways or sinuses. 

Chronic issues

Sinusitis can create a chronic breathing problem without treatment, but it’s hardly the only cause of ongoing breathing issues.

Allergies and asthma can sometimes be closely related. Allergies are the primary trigger for asthma, a condition that narrows the airways in your lungs. Considering that allergies can also cause respiratory congestion, these conditions add up to a serious combination where easy breathing is concerned. 

Treatment for an asthma patient with allergy triggers can be complex, having to find the right asthma management plan while also investigating the reduction and control of allergic reactions. 

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is another chronic breathing issue and sleep disorder with potentially serious health complications, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. 

Treatments for OSA include weight loss, assistive devices such as CPAP machines, and both surgical and nonsurgical procedures to improve nighttime airflow through your throat. 


Smoking is the primary cause behind both lung cancer and COPD, and it creates a dramatic increase in your risk of developing breathing issues. It’s never too late to quit, as your breathing will likely improve in the weeks and months following your last cigarette. 

Your primary care physician is perhaps your starting point to develop a smoking cessation plan, and the team at Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center can help direct you with other resources. 

The consequences of living with a breathing issue can be serious. Your first step for relief is to contact Lakeshore Ear, Nose and Throat Center at any of their offices. You can call the nearest center directly or request an appointment using the online tool. Book your consultation today.